The fourth edition of Briefly Noted–a book review I co-created and edit with Claire Harlan Orsi–went live today on the Prairie Schooner blog!
My review of Shira Nayman’s A Mind of Winter brings up the rear in the festivities, seeing as I haven’t yet got around to changing my name to Aaron Aaronson. (Stupid!)
Here’s a little of what I have to say:
A post-war mystery set mostly in Shanghai, Long Island, and London in the 1950s, A Mind of Winter offers plenty in the way of sex and drugs, mistaken identity, and ill-fated love affairs. These are characters who believe, explicitly or not, that the rules of society do not apply to them. The first section in this three-pronged narrative follows Christine as she plumbs the depths of an opium-induced spiral, chronicling her journey from glamorous state balls and the discomfiture of quid pro quo desire, to opium dens and the streets, where she becomes complicit in the operation of a child prostitution ring. In these sections, Nayman provides her take on the power of forbidden acts.
This will actually be the final issue of Briefly Noted that I’ll be co-editing. I’m hopeful, and confident, that the feature has enough steam to continue for a long while.